Thoughts on Predestination in God's Plan
by Theologian, Father William G. Most
Such Questions on Predestination are not rare even in High School or at other times. They Reflect a Real Concern about Predestination.
Teachers often say: The fact God knows, does not Force or Cause it. I know the Train will leave at 10:15 AM,
but I am not Causing it.
Such a Reply sometimes Satisfies. But there is much more to say. If we work Carefully and Soundly, we will not only find the Real
Answer, but even make the Questioner feel 'Warm-at-Heart'.
We will start out with a few facts we are Certain about, and which are not Difficult. After we gather them up, we will be
Surprised at how the Answer, as it were, Leaps-out toward us.
First; God wants All of us to be
Saved. He said this Clearly and Plainly in
1Timothy 2:4; "God Wills all Men to be Saved".
Does He mean it? It is almost Blasphemous even
to ask for when God says He wants us to be
Saved, He is really saying that
He Loves us. To Deny
His Love would be Horrendous, an
Insult to Him.
To Grasp this we need to know What Love is. To Love
is to Will Good to Another, for the Other's Sake. If we Willed
Good, but not for the Other's Sake, that would be Using Him, not Loving
Him. So I could Will that a Bottle of Wine keep Well, but for My Sake, not for the Wine.
Sadly, there have even been Prominent Theologians who did not see the Connection, that to
Will our Salvation is to
The Crucifixion - by GRÜNEWALD, Matthias - from Musée d'Unterlinden, Colmar
How much does He Will that? To Open-the-Way for it,
He went so far as not to Spare His Only Son, but to send
Him to the Horrible Death of the Cross. So
the Father Accepted, as it were, a Price for
all Grace, that is Infinite (∞).
For that is what His Son's Blood is Worth. Thus the
Father has Bound Himself to make available to me an
Infinite (∞), Limitless Supply of Grace.
He did this not just for Humans in a 'Block', but
for each one 'Individually'. Saint Paul wrote (Galatians 2:20)
"He loved me, and gave Himself for me". Vatican II reassures us:
"Each one of us can say with the Apostle; the Son of God Loved me, and gave Himself for me"
in Modern World § 22)
This Infinite Love shows itself in a Triple (3) Way:
First the Redemption is a
Sacrifice. In a Sacrifice the External Sign would be Worthless without the
Interior, which was and is Obedience; Obedience
to the Father in spite of such Pain, to please
Him, to Benefit us.
The Redemption is also a New Covenant. At Sinai
He promised Benefits if they (Israel) would
Obey. In the New Covenant, Jesus
Obeyed even to Death on the Cross.
Finally, the Holiness of God wants
Right Order Restored if a Sinner takes what
he has No Right to Take. It can be Rectified if the
Sinner gives-up something to which he would have had a Right.
Jesus emptied Himself, as Saint
Paul told the Philippians, becoming Obedient even to
Death. He gave up the
Honor, the Adoration to which
He had a Right as God, and accepted Human Conditions, the
Worst Kind of Human Things, in Obedience to
the Father. He gave-up More than all
Sinners had taken-away.
So His Love for the Father and for us is
shown in this Triple (3) Way. Love called for
Obedience, and in Practice was the same thing as
Jesus accepts the Father's Chalice of Suffering,
offered by an Angel in this depiction of -
The Agony in the Garden -
by BOTTICELLI, Sandro -
from Capilla Real de Granada . . .
(Click Image to Enlarge)
But now something that will Astound most Catholics. In Gethsemane,
Jesus asked that the Chalice Pass, if it be the
Father's Will. We know it did not Pass. But yet many think, if it had Passed, we would not be
Redeemed. Not so! Even the Least Act of the
God-Man was Infinite (∞) in
Merit, Infinite (∞)
in Satisfaction. So the Cross was not
Necessary, nor the Hard Life before it. He
could have been Born in a Palace, and then very soon Ascended without Dying. We would have
still had an Infinite (∞)
Redemption! Why do more? It was the Will of the Father to make all as Rich
as possible for Objective Goodness, and for Richer
than Infinite (∞) Claims to
Grace for us. It would have been Infinite (∞)
without the Cross, but the Superabundance of the Love
of the Father, and of the Obedient Son, wanted to go to the Outermost Limit of
Saint Paul wrote: "He Loved me, and gave Himself for me" - not just
for Humanity in a 'Block' as it were. He offered All for
What do I have going for me then? An Infinite (∞)
Claim to all Forgiveness and
Grace. How could anyone with that, possibly be Lost?
Suppose a Man said to himself: I can afford a Long-time of Sinning - then Pull-up Just-in-Time.
But it would not Work. At the End of the Spree there would be no
Repentance - that means looking-back on what I have done and honestly saying:
I see it was all Wrong. I should not have done it. I wish I had not . But no, the Man on the
Spree would not have such a Real
Repentance. Furthermore, a Long Spell of Sin makes one
Blind or Hardened. Then, even if
God Sends and Offers Grace, the Man cannot take it in - he has
But short of such a Foolish Thing, we can see God does not
'let anyone down'. He has Bound
Himself to Offer Grace without any Limit, except the
Rejecting that Man does .. [Refer to
Unforgiveable Sin - Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit].
Now we see the Truth - God does want us to
be Saved, He has done and continues to do everything.
Only 'We-Ourselves' could Cause our Loss. He
gives us this Treasury Bought at a Price - the
Price of the Death
Christ has Paid for me - I would be Outside the Number of the
Predestined, only if I Rejected
His Grace so Persistently
that I would be Throwing-away the Only-thing that could have Saved me.
We can see how it is now: He looks-ahead to see who
Resists His Grace, not
only Gravely, but also Persistently -
so Persistently that they cannot be Saved --
they Throw-away Persistently the Only-thing that could
Save them. Then with Regrets, God
Decrees to let them go. But all others, He Decrees to
bring to their Father's House. For Grace makes us
Children of the Father, even Sharing in His Nature, as the
Second Epistle of Saint Peter tells us (2Peter 1:4). In
His Plan, that 'First
Grace' is, as it were, a 'Ticket to Heaven'. We did not have to Earn it --
His Love gave it to us, if only we did not
Reject it. Yet even though we did not have to Earn it, we Need to Avoid throwing it away
Persistently, since then we would be without the Only Thing that could
So there are Three (3) Stages as it were, in God's
First, He most earnestly wants all to be
Saved, and went so far as Sending His only Son
to a Horrid Death to make that Way-open.
Next, He looks Ahead, Hoping no one will throw-away
Persistently enough to Rule-out Salvation. With Great
Regrets He Decrees to let those Souls
go on to Ruin.
Finally, all who have not been Dropped in this Second
Stage are Positively Predestined to a Place in our
Father's House, even Holding in our Hands a Ticket, Grace.
Grace makes us His Children - Children as such do have a Claim to be in
their Father's House. He gladly puts the Seal on that.
But there is even more. He is 'Infinite-Warmth',
'Infinite-Love'. No mother has a Love
comparable to His. But since we call Him
Father, He gives us a
Spiritual Mother, Mary,
the Mother of His Only Begotten Son, given to
us at the Foot of the Cross . . . This Care shows Splendidly in what Pope Pius XI
wrote so wonderfully (Explorata Res,
Feb 2,1923) :"Nor would he incur Eternal Death, whom the most Blessed Virgin assists,
especially at his Last Hour. This View of the Doctors of the Church, in Harmony with the Beliefs of the Christian People, and supported by the
Experience of all times, depends especially on this Reason, the fact that the Sorrowful Virgin shared in the Work of the Redemption with Jesus
Christ". This is of Magnificent Value since, in Spite of the
Infinite (∞) Generosity of
our Father, we might still ask ourselves: But I could Throw Away, could
Reject His Grace. So in His Unending Kindness He has Provided a
Remedy even for such a Possibility, if only we use it. The Pope gives a most Solid Reason for his Teaching: The fact that
Our Lady shared in Redeeming us along with
her Divine Son.
She literally Shared in Earning every Grace hence
she has only to ask, and all will be Given. Pope Benedict XV called
her "Omnipotentia Supplex - Suppliant Omnipotence" All that
God can do by His Own Inherent Power,
she can Obtain by merely Asking for it.
Sadly, not too many Catholics understand her
Role in Redeeming us. The Redemption was a
Sacrifice, the Essential Value of which as we saw earlier came from
Obedience. She, at Unimaginable
Cost to herself, joined in that
Obedience. For she was asked by the
Father to Positively Will that He
Die, Die then,
Die so Horribly. Any Soul
Faithful to God must always
Will Positively, whatever He Positively
Wills. This is clear from Vatican II, LG § 61 . . .
"in Suffering with Him as He Died on the Cross, she Cooperated in the Work of the Savior [Redemption] in
an altogether Singular Way, by Obedience, Faith, Hope and Burning Love, to Restore Supernatural Life to Souls".
Pope John Paul II in his
Redemptoris Mater deepened the Nature of her
Obedience to the Will of the Father.
Nor is the Text of Pius XI just the Teaching of One (1) Pope. Benedict XV
(Inter Sodalicia, March 22,1918) agreed: "There
is a most Constant View among the Faithful, proved by Long Experience, that whoever Employs the same Virgin as Patron, will not
Perish-Forever". Pius XII, in his great
Dei, of Nov 20,1947 called Devotion to
her "a Sign of Predestination". Now it is a Basic Principle in Theology
that if anything is Taught Repeatedly on the Ordinary Level (below Solemn Definitions) it is
- Back to Providence Index